The Only Kayak: A Journey Into the Heart of Alaska (Paperback)

The Only Kayak: A Journey Into the Heart of Alaska By Kim Heacox Cover Image

The Only Kayak: A Journey Into the Heart of Alaska (Paperback)


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Winner of the 2020 National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Classic

In this coming-of-middle-age memoir, Kim Heacox, writing in the tradition of Abbey, McPhee, and Thoreau, discovers an Alaska reborn from beneath a massive glacier, where flowers emerge from boulders, moose swim fjords, and bears cross crevasses with Homeric resolve. In such a place Heacox finds that people are reborn too, and their lives begin anew with incredible journeys, epiphanies, and successes. All in an America free of crass commercialism and overdevelopment.

Braided through the larger story are tales of gold prospectors and the cabin they built sixty years ago; John Muir and his intrepid terrier, Stickeen; and a dynamic geology professor who teaches earth science "as if every day were a geological epoch."

Nearly two million people come to Alaska every summer, some on large cruise ships, some in single kayaks--all in search of the last great wilderness, the Africa of America. It is exactly the America Heacox finds in this story of paradox, love, and loss.
Kim Heacox is an author, photographer, musician and climate change activist who writes opinion-editorials for The Guardian, The Washington Post and other high-profile publications, always in defense of the natural world. His books have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and Booklist. His 2015 novel, JIMMY BLUEFEATHER, is the only work of fiction in more than 20 years to win the National Outdoor Book Award. He is the founder of the Charlie Skyhawk Band, and, with his wife Melanie, a co-creator of the forthcoming John Muir Alaska Leadership School. He lives in Gustavus, Alaska, next to Glacier Bay National Park. Learn more about him (or contact him) at
Product Details ISBN: 9781493049400
ISBN-10: 1493049402
Publisher: Lyons Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2020
Pages: 256
Language: English